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20121129
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was this is the third one in a row. eds was written down completely. palm clearly didn't help in terms of the personal products and the personal computing space. now autonomy. so to me, that suggests not just a single problem with an acquisition but maybe a systemic set of problems. >> so a systemic set of problems. is that leadership? is that just, you know, failed vision? is the autonomy deal one that you would have ever done, for example? >> well, look, it's very difficult to answer hypotheticals like that because i wasn't in the boardroom, i didn't know what they were looking at. however, i will say this. the autonomy deal at the time it was done was done for cash at a time when the cash generating capability of the company was weaker than it had been. it was a lot of money, more than many people thought the company was worth. i think it's less now a question of who's to blame and more honestly starting with the board working to restore confidence in its processes. it's a board that has systematically destroyed value over many years. i think the board needs to do some very specific things now. >>
share buy backs? >> well, we've talked to our shareholders about that. so far, it isn't. whether that will change going forward, i don't know. so far, our shareholders seem to like the fact that we've increased the dividend 25 years in a row and that we're returning cash to them. we're doing it in a balanced way. we're doing it through dividends. we're also doing is through share purchases. we have plans to continue our strategy of increasing dividends as the pattern of earning and cash flow permit going forward. >> what's your expectation for oil prices in the year ahead? >> my predictions haven't been very good in the past, but i think we're in a period where i wouldn't be surprised to see a sideways market. we could see some ups and downs depending, of course, on events in the middle east and expectations around the condition of the economy. >> in terms of the economy, are you worried about 2013? a lot of talk about recession, particularly if we were to go off the fiscal cliff. what's your take on economic landscape in the next year? >> i think there are mixed signs out there.
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